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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Graham Bell - Graham Bell (1972 uk, fabulous rhythm 'n' blues, 2016 korean remaster)

Bell's father, Jimmy, who died in 2010, was a well-known local singer, and his late mother, Leonora Rogers, was in show business prior to marriage, after which she was heavily involved in local music and dance.

Graham made a solo single in 1966 and one year later replaced Alan Hull as the singer of psychedelic rock band Skip Bifferty (later renamed Heavy Jelly). In 1969 he was singer in another psychedelic rock band Griffin. In 1970 he began his stint with Charisma Records, joining Every Which Way, a band formed by Brian Davison formerly of The Nice, as singer and principal writer. Musical style was jazzy progressive rock with guitar from John Hedley (who was later part of Last Exit, with Sting) playing call and response with Bell's blues shout vocals. Bell then rejoined his old mates from Skip Bifferty, now known as Arc, to form Bell & Arc in July 1971, with John Turnbull, Mick Gallagher, Bud Beadle, Kenny Craddock, Steve Gregory, Tom Duffy and Alan White. Bell was then tempted to leave the group to record an album as a solo artist in 1972. Featuring Tim Hinkley, Mel Collins and lan Wallace, it was produced by Bob Dylan associate Bob Johnston.

After Bell's appearance in the London Symphony Orchestra version of Tommy it was reported that Pete Townshend produced an album for him, but it never saw the light of day. In 1974 he contributed backing vocals on Carol Grimes' Warm Blood also featuring Tommy Eyre, Jess Roden, John 'Rabbit' Bundrick and Henry Lowther. In the late 1970s Graham Bell was featured on the front page of Sounds music paper as a "the man -most likely to", but sadly his profile was affected by the rise of punk and the new wave. Bell moved to America, where he toured with Long John Baldry, and was the co- front man along with Jackie Lomax of a band of LA Brit expatriates known as the Tea Bags, among others, before returning to his native Northeast England in the mid 1980s. He also lived for a while in Cumbria before finally heading for London again and cropping up in Snowy White's Blues Agency in 1988/89. In 2008 he died of cancer shortly after his 60th birthday.

1. Before You Can Be A Man (Graham Bell) - 4:01
2. The Thrill Is Gone (B.B. King) - 4:52
3. After Midnight (J.J. Cale) - 5:32
4. Down In The City (Graham Bell, Tim Drummond) - 5:17
5. Watch The River Flow (Bob Dylan) - 4:38
6. Too Many People (Bob Wilson, Graham Bell) - 4:18
7. How Long Will It Last (Bob Wilson, Graham Bell) - 3:09
8. The Whole Town Wants You Hung (Graham Bell) - 2:27
9. The Man With Ageless Eyes (Graham Bell) - 5:11
10.So Black And So Blue (Kris Kristofferson) - 3:54

*Graham Bell - Guitar, Vocals
*Bob Wilson - Keyboards
*Derek Quinn - Percussion
*Gaspar Lawal - Percussion
*Eddie Mordue - Baritone Saxophone
*Ian Wallace - Drums
*Mel Collins - Alto, Tenor, Baritone Saxophones
*Ron Cornelius - Guitar
*Tim Drummond - Bass
*Tim Hinkley - Keyboards
*Kenny Wheeler - Trumpet 
*Mark Charig - Trumpet 
*Nick Evans - Trombone
*Derek Collins - Tenor Saxophone

Related Acts
1966-69  Skip Bifferty - The Story of Skip Bifferty (double disc edition) 
1970  Brian Davison - Every Which Way (2010 edition)